Rush Limbaugh Rips Buttigieg's Campaign, Says 'America's Not Ready to Elect Gay Guy Kissing Husband on Debate Stage'

Conservative radio host and recent recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom Rush Limbaugh told the audience of his syndicated show Wednesday that former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg had little chance of winning the Democratic presidential nomination because "America is still not ready to elect a gay guy."

Buttigieg, who married his husband Chasten in June 2018, has emerged as a front runner in the Democratic race for the White House. With 24.4 percent of the vote, Buttigieg obtained second place in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, losing to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders by less than 4,000 votes.

In the hotly contested Iowa caucuses, Buttigieg was declared the winner over Sanders by one-tenth of a percentage point, obtaining 26.2 percent of the votes.

Limbaugh was speaking about who could defeat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, calling Sanders "a dyed-in-the-wool socialist who's not even a Democrat."

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Limbaugh then described what he believed the "grand poobahs in the Democratic Party" were thinking.

"Then they're sitting there and they're looking at Mayor Pete, a 37-year-old gay guy, mayor of South Bend, loves to kiss his husband on the debate stage," Limbaugh said. "And they're saying, 'Okay. How's that going to look, a 37-year-old gay guy kissing his husband on stage next to Mr. Man, Donald Trump? What's gonna happen there?'"

"They gotta be looking at that," Limbaugh added. "They've gotta be saying that despite all the great progress and despite all the great wokeness and despite all the great ground that's been covered, America's still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage president. They have to be saying this, don't they?"

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Newsweek reached out to Buttigieg's campaign for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

pete buttigieg, chasten buttigieg
Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg appears on stage with his husband Chasten Buttigieg at his primary night watch party on February 11, 2020 in Nashua, New Hampshire. Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty

Limbaugh's reference to Trump as "Mr. Man" quickly became a trending topic on social media as the radio personality was criticized for his homophobic remarks.

"We have no choice but to admit that Trump, his voters and supporters have the emotional maturity of 12 year old boys," tweeted @ladyjld. "That's the only way such 'humor' could appeal to them. Vote adults back into power in 2020!"

"I'm assuming Rush Limbaugh is unaware that 'Mr. Man' is the name of a popular website devoted to cataloguing male nudity in film that has a primarily gay male userbase," tweeted singer/songwriter Dani Song.

"What an intolerable ass Limbaugh is," tweeted former Republican presidential candidate Joe Walsh.

"During this trying primary season," wrote @jaimeleah2, "I'm glad the left can at least unite and defend @PeteButtigieg's right to kiss his cute husband in public. #MrMan"

Limbaugh has spoken negatively about gay marriage in the past, saying in 2015 that the practice was to blame for a decline in church membership.

"Many of these churches now perform homosexual marriage," Limbaugh said. "They ordain gay pastors or ministers and, in some cases, female and lesbian pastors and ministers, which you might think would cause some people to leave those churches."

Rush Limbaugh Rips Buttigieg's Campaign, Says 'America's Not Ready to Elect Gay Guy Kissing Husband on Debate Stage' | Politics